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Sweet Willie

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Everything posted by Sweet Willie

  1. Quite right. With all the glowing press on PI, perhaps I should give it a try again. What do y'all like at PI? (please no "everything is great" posts, if I see that I believe the poster is not being critical enough or has not dined around enough to know what is a stand out item)
  2. No. We have a place in St. Germain Wis. A little more modern but it is SERENITY NOW! Almost every year since I was a kid I've been to the Boundry Waters area. I like being able to get away from everyone w/the hard work of canoeing and portaging. But really, you don't even realize how hard you are working. Fileting one's day catch of fish and preparing a shore lunch is sublime. I keep one set of "clean" clothes. After we have finished canoeing/portaging for the day and the camp has been all set up, I'll switch out of the grimes and jump in the lake. Cool off and get clean. I then put on my "clean" clothes, fix dinner, let the fire get to a nice low easy manageable state and then take out a prized single malt scotch and watch the stars. We usually do mid September trips and are rewarded w/almost no people and the northern lights.
  3. Used to feel that way as well until one dining day at the I-80 truckstop, the special was a grilled pork tenderloin. Incredible! so now I'm bi-tenderloin.
  4. None really, I just have never been overwhelmed by PI. The quality question I asked has more to deal with the question of, "could your business survive on the same prices as it charged in '89"? something has had to change. As posted above, it does not seem to be the employees, Also the positive posts above would suggest that it is not the food. Which leaves me with the impression that the PI margins were obscenly high to begin with or........ (you fill in the blank)
  5. This fall some friends of mine and I will be driving to the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville Iowa to play some softball on the diamond there. Anyone know of a bar/restaurant that serves a good pork tenderloin sandwich in either Dyersville or Dubuque area? Doesn't matter whether it is fried or grilled. Thanks, Willie
  6. For my next visit to SEA, it would be appreciated if you had addresses or intersections so that non-SEA people (like myself) could find these places. Thanks.
  7. Had read about Solly’s butter burgers and was up in Milwaukee yesterday. Took my nephew, a Marquette student, to Solly’s, he is pretty happy because anytime Uncle Bill comes in town, he is going to eat. The new Solly’s (the old one was moved a block or so due to a Medical complex going up) is located at 4629 N. Port Washington Road. As one walks inside you see two U shaped counters (the same ones as in the old Sollys?). We sat down and both ordered the regular butter burger, fries and a raspberry lemonade. Fries came a few minutes before the burgers which was fine w/us as we were starving. They were good crinkle cut fries. Now the burger comes, I had ordered mine w/sautéed onions. Before I state my opinion, I need to state that our house is a dairy free house, I will still bring in my cheese now and then but that is it, I do all the cooking and just have never used much dairy in my cooking so it was easy to give up. First, I can barely pick up the burger because of the soppy butter filled lower bun, immediately make mental note to order raw onions next time. I take a bite, my mouth is filled w/warm butter and beef taste, Almost a patty melt texture/taste. A good burger, unique. Next time I go back I will order the raw onions, there was no need for the sautéed onions (think MORE butter) IMO. Solly's Grille 4629 N. Port Washington Rd. Milwaukee 414-332-8808 http://www.foodspot.com/sollys/
  8. Used to get to GR a bit, looking forward to it, have a good friend from GR that I'll bring along as well. FWIW, Oct 4 th is ok, 18th is the best.
  9. mushy shrimp, very few things burn me more. I have always thought that squid is a far superior seafood in the salt/pepper dish than shrimp. If you like squid I would suggest trying it instead of shrimp. Our time at Viet Wah was a one time on the way out of town, I hope ours was not the one time positive fluke.
  10. yes, looked the same as in your photo.
  11. This quote combined w/the amount of name dropping I’ve read in the above posts, so much for one posters wish of “Snobbiness. Definitely. It's gotta go.” We are all preaching to the choir on this site. No wonder most friends/colleagues I've turned on to this site, turn away. The most important issue I see is spreading a passion about food to those who don’t have it, OK maybe passion is too strong, but at least get someone to care about how/what they eat. I know most would like to think that they assist in spreading the “good word of food” but in reality; Client wants to dine at famous restaurant X even though you know it is overpriced junk. What happens, you take the client to restaurant X. Kids are tired/hungry and you are the single parent, yeah just look up a slow food recipe that is the answer, no you take the kids to McDonalds. (please no stories about how you are the terrific know it all parent and we do XYZ w/the kids). I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m seeing more chains/much more processed foods when I travel outside the US. There is a reason, (hint $$$) If all your friends want to dine on cutting edge, truly ethnic, or slow food dinners, Congratulations but then I would refer you to the quote, “Snobbiness. Definitely. It's gotta go.” If you are like my wife and I, our friends do not all share the food passion and choosing a restaurant/food can be a taxing issue when trying to convince someone to try something new. Baby steps are how America will learn to have passion and care. I saw on FoodTV recently a story about a Scandinavian restaurant from NYC that opened a branch in Minneapolis with the same menu. Did not fly at all. The restaurant had to “Americanize” and offer more familiar items to make a $ (after all that is what EVERYONE is trying to do, (again please no stories about how you are so different and are not just about making a $)) The restaurant has earned the trust of the local public and now offers more “exotic” fare. I think the show was "a Cook's tour" I know baby steps are how I’ve had to convince friends and colleagues to try new food experiences. Come to think of it, baby steps are how I developed the food passion.
  12. Had lunch today at Shapiro’s Deli on Meridian St. in Indianapolis. Chose a corned beef/pastrami combo sandwich on rye so I could try both meats, also had a side of chopped chicken liver and marinated mushrooms. The corned beef was good, the better of the two meats. I wondered if they cook their own meats here. I ask the question because I went to the take out area afterwards to browse and buy a sesame bagel. In the deli case they had two rows of corned beef, one made from brisket and one from the flat. I used to sell deli meats and this is the first instance that I've seen corned beef offered from multiple beef cuts. They also had lots of Vienna products in the case (retail packs). Bagel was good, but seeing as I just had some Montreal bagels a week ago, no place in the US would have come close to making the level bagel that Montreal does. Pickles and mushrooms were up to par as was the chicken liver (perhaps a tad too much onion). Rye bread had caraway seeds and was crusty (the way I like it). Shapiro's Deli Cafeteria 808 S. Meridian St, Indianapolis (317) 631-4041. Also 918 S. Rangeline Road in Carmel open from 6:45 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily Meridian location was very easy to get to off of the Interstates, important to me as I was traveling through. http://www.shapiros.com
  13. I would have an interest in both the cooking class and a trip to the local supermercado. Let me know if there is room for this event.
  14. Newbie question, where is the eGullet Cul Inst located?
  15. Terminology check, is it “Mofongo” you are searching for? If so, Mofongo is mashed Green Plantains w/usually some pork fat and garlic mixed in. I’ve seen them as a side or “stuffed” w/shrimp, lobster or other items. AJILI MOJILI (address above) serves Mofongo w/your choice of “stuffings” and is in your $ range easy.
  16. My wife and I were ending our NW odyssey and on the way to SEA-Tac when we spied Viet Wah Superfoods at 6040 Martin Luther King Way South. What a find, they have incredible BBQ duck and chicken (we preferred the duck, but we always do), many dishes that are prepared as you watch in big woks at the back of the kitchen. We tried 4 things and our bill for two was under $15. Very good and worth a look. I took a brief walk through the store after our meal and it appeared to be a good, cheap source for Asian grocery items.
  17. Had a nice dinner at Rosario Resort http://rosario.rockresorts.com/ And Christina’s http://www.christinas.net/ , both on Orcas Island.
  18. Wife and I went to Todai / Woodfield Mall (Schaumburg, IL) a few months ago. Good fresh seafood should smell like the sea, upon entering Todai it smelled very fishy, not a good sensory introduction. All my other senses were pleased, it is large, clean, w/good displays. We arrived at 5:15pm and there was no wait although it was filling fast. As you are escorted to your table the host will hold your ticket/bill above their heads. I guess to make the other servers aware that there are new patrons being seated. Before you are seated they asked if we had been before, we said we had not and were given a brief tour of the layout. There were three areas, a hot food, salad/sushi, and cold seafood/fruit bar. There are definite places to enter for each. As w/any buffet, you pick up your plate and go. Wife went for the salad/sushi area, I for the hot food. Hot food: Fried Rice, Sukiyaki noodles, teriyaki chicken (cut up into chunks), teppen yaki (cut up beef and veggies), fried lemon shrimp, green lip mussels w/a mayo-like sauce over them, whole shrimp(heads as well) cut in 1/2 w/the same sauce over them, dungeness crab, white rice, miso soup, tempura sauce, and tempura. Tried all. The mussels were great! Every shrimp I had was very mealy/mushy, not a good experience. Dungeness crab was very good. Miso was acceptable as well as the tempura. Wife brought back an assortment of sushi. I now understand the above negative comments. It was ok, but being sushi lovers it was below par for us. I went to the cold bar for some Jonah crab claws, snow crab legs and boiled shrimp. The Jonah crab is almost like a stone crab claw, not bad (but stone crab is devine). Snow crab just never pushes my button, it was so-so. Boiled shrimp were fresh and firm, but on the very small size (its a buffet so one can understand). The desserts are just the way most should be at a buffet, they are displayed in very small slices/pieces so it is easy to sample much w/o really gorging oneself. As usual there were some that were bad, some so-so and some that were good. One standout was the individual creme brulee, VERY tasty. There was also a crepe area, but I did not investigate that. Noticeably absent from the line up was any form of lobster. Lobster is displayed in the Todai posters/signage as you walk in, but nowhere to be found on the buffet. The word lobsters had been crossed out on the posters so I don’t believe they serve them anymore. During our meal, a line formed to get into Todai, a very large one (saturday evening at a large mall). I noticed that the lines for the various stands were now 10-15 people deep. The line moves, but I was sure glad we were not going up for anymore food. Seeing as a friend who only eats seafood and veggies took care of our dog for 10 days while we were in HI, we will go back and treat him to Todai, but otherwise probably will not go back. Admission price for adults is $24.98 for dinner. Drinks (both non-alcohol and alcohol) are extra, they do offer Asian/domestic beers. Went back w/my friend a few weeks ago My friend had read a review in the Chicago Tribune that said the spread at Todai was greater on the weekends than weekdays. So we went on a Friday night. My wife and I were very pleasently surprised at the higher quality of food we experienced. The sushi was far superior to the last time we went. Some great sashimi as well, tuna "salad", and some other delicious dishes. The filet mignon teriyaki was terrific, tender and flavorful. Calamari stunk. Honey walnut shrimp were sweet and delicious, but I still thought they were mealy, although not as bad as last time. Alas, no lobsters still.
  19. We stayed at a B&B (modern home) called Ocean’s Edge. It is a good walk outside of Ucluelet, but doable for walking to/from dinner. Bill & Susan are extremely nice. Bill used to be a ranger w/the nearby national park, he (for a fee) will take you on a educational hike (well worthwhile). http://www.oceansedge.bc.ca/ I apologize about the confusion, I should have stated that our Pointe dining occurred last summer.
  20. kind of what I was thinking as well. I appreciate the description of what makes it different though. Any Chicago area markets that may carry these?
  21. 8 out of 12 "epiphanies" are not low expectations at all IMO. I have a dining epiphany 2 to 3 times per year tops. I'm not the 80% customer as your post may or may not be implying.
  22. Joe Forte's is a very loud and busy restaurant that serves some very good seafood IMO. I was concerned about the looks, it did look like a tourist trap. There was a long wait for a table so the wife and I headed to the oyster bar to sit down and dine there. Our caretaker/raw bar man was Oyster Todd (it said so on the check and his name badge). Oyster Todd was a cocky young guy who felt he knew everything about oysters and steered you to his favorites that were in season at the time. There were some varieties that I had not had before and Oyster Todd was not opposed to providing a free sample to sway me to his tastes. He did not disappoint, selections were great. Wife and I both had fresh fish that were done just the way we requested and tasted delicious. Although Joe Forte's may seem like a touristy trap restaurant, it proved a very rewarding dining experience on this evening Joe Forte's 777 Thurlow Street Vancouver, BC Phone: 604.669.1940
  23. My experience was an epiphany of sushi dining for myself. If you love sushi, the meal to get is the "Omakase" at Tojos. Basically you are letting the chef (Tojo) serve whatever he likes. There were three price points from $50-150 a person. Upon recommendation I did not hesitate and ordered the $150 Omakase. Sushi in Japan did not come close to Tojo's, not even Tokyo's seafood market. I've never really appreciated the salmon sushi I've had, but here it is an unworldly delicious experience. Yes there were a couple of ok/so-so items in the 12 items I was served, but then again 8 epiphanies out of 12 is not too shabby.
  24. Had dinner at the Pointe Restaurant in the Wickaninnish Inn, a Relaix and Chateaux property. The Inn is located near the town of Tofino on the western side of Vancouver Island. We were actually staying in Ucluelet which is a 25 minute drive from the Inn. If you click on the link below and then click on the photo of the resort, you can see the restaurant in the lower right hand corner of the photo. Our waiter said that during the storm season, waves will crash onto the rocks and windows of the restaurant. http://www.relaischateaux.com/site/us/Fich...de=wickaninnish The Wickinnanish Inn's website is http://www.wickinn.com/ Chef Jim Garraway's Signature Menu on the night we dined there (and our ratings) was: Smoked Salmon and Caper Wonton Pouch w/Apricot and Chervil Salsa "outstanding" Warmed Octopus Antipasto Potato Cannelloni w/Balsamic Syrup, Extra Virgin Olive Oil "outstanding" Sole and Tiger Prawn Mousse Roulade w/Organic Pea Shoots, Citrus Puree, Sevruga Caviar "would have been great w/just the Sevruga Caviar served. A so-so dish" Seared Fois Gras w/Apple Fondant, Housemade Duck Prosciutto and Fresh Herbs "outstanding" (but then we have rarely been disappointed by any seared fois gras.) Saskatoon Berry Ice "WOW" Had never had Saskatoon Berry anything, we loved the flavor Veal Rack Confit w/Savory Tuile Box, Celery Root Mash, Black Plum Jus "just incredible" The only confit we had ever had was duck. The Veal w/the celery root mash was divine. Gianduja Mousse w/White Chocolate Espresso Sauce "good" Jack Daniel's Chocolate Pyramid in a frozen cherry shooter "very good" The Pointe IMO is a must dine when in the Tofino/Ucluelet area of Vancouver Island. $90 Canadian, $140 Can w/wine pairings (a glass for each course picked by the chef)
  25. Last time at Gibson’s, I ordered a cut of meat called the W.R. Chicago Cut. The Chicago cut is a bone-in ribeye. I thought it was very mediocre (I was embarrassed that my hometown, a beef town, put out such a poor cut), plus I had asked for mine Med Rare and it was Med to Med-well. When the waiter asked how things were, I mentioned that my steak was not that great. Gibson's took off the charge for my dinner as well as the carrot cake. A very nice gesture on their part I thought. Gibson’s steaks are wet-aged which if I’m paying those prices it better be dry-aged. I won't be going back, three mediocre visits is enough.
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